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Monday, March 14, 2011

In Physics, Is Everything Predictable? Actually No.

My awesome barista Devin Elise, this is for you!

When the science of quantum mechanics really solidified in the 1920's, there was a huge upheaval in science.  Everything has a cause and effect in macroscopic physics, and results are totally able to be calculated and predicted (if you know all values for environmental factors).  The upheaval was that, on a quantum level, this was shown not to apply.  Instead of predictably, at this scale there's only probability (as a wave function) that a particle will be located at any specific spot.  It's one of my favorite science facts, partly because it's so counter intuitive.

This video by Sixty Symbols explains the Wave Function wonderfully.

Video Credit: Sixty Symbols (I'm a huge fan of that site)
This is a great example of a provable scientific concept that provides me with more wonder than any pseudoscience used to, when growing up as a wee gullible lad. 

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